Daily Sketch Reprise: Kelly’s Bookish Bath

charcoal sketch of cat bathing
“Kelly’s Bookish Bath 1″, charcoal, 7″ x 10” © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

My third “daily sketch” ever! And as a bonus, I did two sketches. It’s funny to me now how tentative my lines look, and how I wasn’t even sure about my sketchbooks at that point. I had a lot to learn, and Kelly had a lot to teach me as a model.

Kelly is very slender and wiry, and a true contortionist. She moves quickly in everything she does, and baths are particularly vigorous. But I love to watch her have a bath and I wanted to catch a few of her postures. Between her contortions and quick changes, I knew I’d have to have some plans of what I wanted—washing her face, and involved in a full twist—and be ready when the moment came because. When it did, it was kind of like the jump rope move where you watch the rope go around and around and wait for the moment you can jump in without being hit; I was watching and watching and watching before I began to jump in and draw, and even then I have some odd lines and a stray elbow, and all those lines on her back!

Usually, when my subject changes position enough from where I’d begun, I can finish the sketch from what I remember of seeing them, but Kelly’s postures are so contorted that I can barely figure things out when I’m looking at her.

She really does have a long tail, though, and tends to curl it around things, and she never fully sits down. She also needs to sit on something that is on something, which in this case is a stack of books. It could be one paperback, and she would be on it, so Kelly would always be on some object.

That was the first sketch on the page, and it was actually on the bottom edge of the 11″ x 14″ page. I had more space at the top of the page, a little more time and another Kelly posture to sketch, this time all four paws lined up and twisting around to clean her hip.

cat bathing on books
Kelly’s Bookish Bath 2, charcoal, © B.E. Kazmarski

This sketch is on the same page, above the other. I decided to split them up for explanation and so you wouldn’t have to scroll all the way down the page to get to the text.

Today I chose to use a charcoal pencil with darker, more definite lines, but which still allows the feathering and shading I like so much in pencil.

Of course, Kelly is a tortoiseshell, but there is no way I can catch her markings in a quick sketch, though with both her and Cookie I can often catch their distinctive facial and chest markings.

Click here to see other daily sketches.

For a gallery of the ones available for sale, visit my Etsy shop in the “Cat Art and Prints” section.

Read about the reason for the daily sketches in One Year of Daily Sketches.

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© 2013 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski



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4 thoughts on “Daily Sketch Reprise: Kelly’s Bookish Bath

  • August 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I love them both! You combined two of my favourite things – cats and books, and also conveyed what my cats think books are for. Fantastic!

    • August 14, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Michelle, I’m still surprised at this one, so early in the game with my daily sketches, but it really captured the moment–these are up in my studio (but you may know that!).

  • August 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

    The first one is great, purrrfectly simple lines and reflects the movement so well.

    • August 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks, Maru–and I love her shape in the second one too, there’s just something about that particular cat curve.


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